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I like someone, how do I talk to them without sounding crazy?
January 18, 2013 8:14 PM   Subscribe

I like a guy but I don't think of myself as attractive. Obviously, he is attractive to me, but I also think he is considered attractive by most people. People tell me that you should always aim for your own attractiveness-level, so I'm wary about this already. Plus I really don't know how to talk to him because I've placed him on this pedestal and I am completely in awe. How do I approach him?

I have zero experience dating. I am super awkward when it comes to boys partially because I have no experience with boys (no guy friends growing up and so on) but also because I tend to be overly anxious and weird. I can come across as very intense sometimes, so I try to mellow it out when I like someone a lot which usually means I end up being completely silent and weird (and then people think I hate them which isn't the case).

I over think, analyze and freak out over everything which I guess is normal but I will actively convince myself to let it go. I see pretty much everything as a rejection. Eventually, I will let it go and I am determined not to do this anymore.

We've talked a few times and we have a lot similar interests. He is really nice. He laughs at my jokes, we have easy conversations. The problem is, ever since I've developed this crush, I've lost my ability to talk to him normally. I worry that I'm bothering him if I message him and when I see him in class, I avoid him because I see too many of his friends around him. Plus, there was this whole incident where I messaged him about something, and he basically ignored me for two weeks. He apologized later and said he remembered seeing it and thought he had replied but forgot instead.

I want to get to know him better. I don't want to just ask him out because I really don't know him that well. How do I do this?

I am going to summarize all my questions, because right now, I'm fairly certain it sounds like a gigantic mess.

1. Should I give up on this because he is way better looking than I am?
2. How do I get the courage to talk to him?
3. How do I express my interest in him without coming off as insane/needy/weird?
4. How do I determine what is actually rejection and what is just normal contact?
posted by madsy to Human Relations (27 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Be yourself, be nice. You can't trick someone into falling for you. You could put yourself out there in ways that might show them that they can use you for casual sex, but if you're looking for dating and a relationship or real friendship, then you can't really trick them into it.

So just be you. It's the best way for you to be happy. And if he's goodlooking and nice in the way that makes us girls think he's a cutie, then he knows it and he will do the picking.
posted by discopolo at 8:21 PM on January 18, 2013


People tell me that you should always aim for your own attractiveness-level

Who says this? That's ridiculous. Date people you want to date.

I want to get to know him better. I don't want to just ask him out because I really don't know him that well.

How do you think you get to know someone you want to date? You go on dates with them. What you want to do is date him, and you accomplish this by asking him on a date. This is your anxiety talking.

Talk to him alone, say "hey, I was wondering if you'd like to go out with me to get coffee/a drink sometime". The interest expressing is implicit in you asking him out. His reaction will tell you if he's interested or not. If he says no, it's not a big deal, other fish in the sea and all that. If you can't get him alone, then send him a message with the same content. He'll either say yes, or he'll say no or deflect or not answer, all of which are no responses.
posted by brainmouse at 8:21 PM on January 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


People tell me that you should always aim for your own attractiveness-level

All I'm going to say here is don't listen to People. People will tell you a lot of "do this, don't do this, blah blah blah." It doesn't matter. Everybody has their own set of what they find attractive. It is totally possible for a guy who you find attractive to also find you attractive, regardless of whether or not you're "conventionally" attractive. So don't sell yourself short and don't try to date people who you aren't attracted to just because they "match" what you think is in your league. A relationship without attraction is a friendship.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:22 PM on January 18, 2013 [19 favorites]


1) People find people attractive for all sorts of reasons -- even physical attraction isn't limited to just boilerplate good looks, because we're each wired to find different things attractive. He may or may not find you attractive, per se, but your facial proportions or similarities to supermodels are probably less likely to interest him than your genuine interest in him.

2) Gain courage by stop thinking of him as on some other level as you. Putting him on that pedestal prevents you not only from seeing his foibles, but from seeing, up close, endearing traits and vulnerabilities. Put him so high up and you also risk him being dizzily uncomfortable.

3) If you're anxious about talking to him, follow his lead. Ask him a question -- did he see X and what did he think about it? -- and see where he takes the conversation. Smile, make a little eye contact (but maybe really stare at his nose, so you don't seem like you're as dazzled by him as you are.

4) If he doesn't know you're interested, his lack of attention can't be categorized as rejection. But maybe take this slower. Make your current end-game getting to know him better as friends. The more you know the real guy, and he gets to know you, the more realistic a basis for something in the future.

If you're really nervous...act as if you aren't. I know, that sounds crazy. But try it. Think of how a character in a movie you like, or a friend you respect, would deal with the same situation. Be yourself...but filter it through the kind of self-confidence they have. Good luck!
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 8:32 PM on January 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


1. Should I give up on this because he is way better looking than I am?

No, it's worth a shot. Consider the possible outcomes. He could reject you, and then it would just confirm what you already think. That seems pretty similar to the status quo. Or he could be into you, and you could find yourself dating this person you're so in awe of. Sounds like a risk worth taking.
posted by John Cohen at 9:03 PM on January 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


You have over-thought this process to a point where it is impossible to untangle. The only chance you have at resolving this issue is to take a break. You don't necessarily need to stop liking the guy just stop this process. It has spun out of control and taken on a life of its own and most of it lives inside of your head- more importantly your imagination. You are seeing things that aren't there and over analyzing actions so much that you can no longer make decisions based on the facts. My advice is to completely divorce yourself from this fixation for a month or so. You have to promise yourself that for 30 days you will do your level best to totally avoid this guy. Then, after 30 days, re-visit the situation and reflect back on what may or may not of occurred. Otherwise you are going to keep going back and forth with second guessing everything you do and every move he makes.

You will drive yourself nuts.

This will be the hardest advice to take but I think some part of you know it is right. Plus, if you are able to do this, you will sleep a lot better at night. LET GO- some parts of life are not simple science experiments, human reactions and interactions don't necessarily equal predictable outcomes and no amount of advice or knowledge is going to change it. Nature has a process and sometimes it is impossible to "understand".
posted by bkeene12 at 9:17 PM on January 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


The problem is, ever since I've developed this crush, I've lost my ability to talk to him normally.

In my experience that's terminal. When it happens to me, it means I've put way too much importance on the crush-feeling and am no longer relating to the other person as a person.



1. Should I give up on this because he is way better looking than I am?

No but possibly you should consider whether part of what you want from him is validation that you are attractive, and if so, whether there are better ways to get that.


Plus, there was this whole incident where I messaged him about something, and he basically ignored me for two weeks. He apologized later and said he remembered seeing it and thought he had replied but forgot instead.

That's bad.


2. How do I get the courage to talk to him?
3. How do I express my interest in him without coming off as insane/needy/weird?

If you are determined, text him and ask if he wants to hang out sometime. Do it once and don't follow up. If he doesn't get back to you, drop it. You'll still have the feelings, the best way to deal with them is to get exercise, learn new things and meet new people, outside of the classes you have together.
posted by srs airbag at 9:19 PM on January 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Actually, I suppose you'd better ask him face to face. It's harder but less creepy.
posted by srs airbag at 9:22 PM on January 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay. The incident where he forgot about me for two weeks occurred over Facebook and I didn't push him. I asked him about something, he didn't reply so I left it that way. He replied on his own free will a couple weeks later, saying he was sorry for overlooking the message and so on. Should I continue messaging him or is that code for stop talking to me? I don't like being pushy and aggressive but I don't know what a fine balance is. If I text him and he doesn't reply, is it all right to text him again or no? It's little things like this that puzzle me.

And bkenne12, I do that alot. I am aware that I over analyze and get crazy, so I stop talking to whoever is the object of my affections during that time, and then eventually, the class is over, or I lose interest or he's moved on.
posted by madsy at 9:26 PM on January 18, 2013


1. Should I give up on this because he is way better looking than I am?
Heck no! Everyone has something to offer, and if it's not your looks then it's your generosity or your wit or your genuineness. The other side of this coin is with him—what does he have to offer you aside from some eye candy? Think about it and see what you come up with. Answering that question will help you with some of your other conundrums below.

2. How do I get the courage to talk to him?
You've got something to offer him! I'm not being euphemistic here either. You know you best, and you know your best, and that's what you're bringing to the you-and-him table. If I knew you better I'd rattle off a list of your best and brightest traits as a person right here, but thankfully you've got the absolute best resource for that sort of thing already. (That would be you.) The things you like best about yourself are the things others will find most delightful as well. You have to love yourself to show others how.

Anyway, going in with the knowledge that you've got what he wants (even if he doesn't know it yet) is a great way to psych yourself up for the big conversation.

3. How do I express my interest in him without coming off as insane/needy/weird?
Listen to him. Be genuine. Think about how you answered that question above, about what other things (aside from a handsome appearance) about him you like. Mostly the best way to avoid insanity and neediness and weirdity is to be honest and forthright.

4. How do I determine what is actually rejection and what is just normal contact?
The best possible outcome of your flirtation with this person is that you end it by scheduling the next one. In other words, ask him out: "Let's do this again soon, coffee?"

And then hash out the specifics. It's likely that if you end the conversation without a specific next date he's just not that into you.

Go for it! Good luck!
posted by carsonb at 9:36 PM on January 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Should I continue messaging him or is that code for stop talking to me?

Not everything has a deep meaning, it could mean he was, you know, busy and distracted?

What is code for he-is-interested-in-you is if he generally shows warmth and interest when he's talking to you face to face. Use that as the index for understanding him. All other communication channels are modulated by lots of unknowable stuff, like he has a complex about talking on the phone, or he IMs distractedly because he uses the computer for real work/MMORPGs.

1. Should I give up on this because he is way better looking than I am?

There's a chance that he's not only good looking but not shallow, in which case he'd be interested in you because of the books you read, to say nothing of little stuff, like the smell of your hair, etc.

If he's so shallow he's not interested in a vivacious girl who shares his interests, he's not worth it, frankly.

People tell me that you should always aim for your own attractiveness-level, so I'm wary about this already.

I say unto you, as gently as possible, that the people who tell you this are twits.

What they should tell you is "Self-confident girls are hot! Take up a martial art and get a bit pumped and a bit centered. And take up a craft and eventually master it so that you approach it from a level of confidence."

Now go invite him to see the Hobbit / Monster Truck Rally / coffee or what have you, and make it somewhat clear that you're asking him out because you're interested in him. You don't have to use the words "This is a date." but you want the message to be clear enough that this isn't just as platonic buddies.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:58 PM on January 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll give you advice that's so true, people find it unbelievable. Unbelievable, because "it can't be so simple, can it?"

Here it is: Do NOTHING to change who you are. Be yourself, 100%.

People's relationships/marriages fail, because they, or their partners, misrepresent themselves consciously or unconsciously. When the real "you" (or "s/he") comes out, everything falls apart. You cannot maintain a fiction forever.

"But what if s/he finds the real me inadequate? I must present the best image I can!"

If s/he ends up finding your false image attractive and the relationship forms around it - it will fail in the long run, and meanwhile you'll live a tortured/hidden existence. The relationship will be a mirage, built on a false image. Unhappy and unsustainable. The false image of you being accepted is like a drink of water from a mirage in the desert - it will not quench your real thirst.

How is it better to present the real you?

Because if s/he falls in love with the real you, s/he'll love you for who you are. You can't beat that. It won't guarantee a successful long term relationship, but it'll go a long way to making it a success.

"But what if the real me is rejected as inadequate?"

You say it'll be painful. Yes. But only briefly - like a bandage quickly torn off. Because you will realize another truth - this is the best thing that could have happened to you. You just avoided major drama of a failed relationship, perhaps after months or years of torture. Instead, you two quickly realized you were not suited to each other, and went your separate ways before the complications of entanglements, resentments, bitterness, regret and lost time. You have just gained the time for a REAL relationship.

Be Yourself. This answers everything.

1. Should I give up on this because he is way better looking than I am?

Be yourself. If he finds you - the real you - attractive - great first step. Now you see if you find him compatible with you - the real you - that's the second step... it takes two to tango. If the attraction is mutual - great. If he doesn't find the real you attractive - great, you just dodged a bullet. And in either case you didn't have to give up, because he's better or worse looking than you are - or equally good looking... it has nothing to do with that.

2. How do I get the courage to talk to him?

Be yourself. Don't put up a front, or play games. It should take no courage to be yourself. It makes for a lot of stress to put up a fake image - and to overcome that stress, you think you need courage... but it takes "courage" to be a pickpocket too. Don't be a fake. Be honest. There's a reason why they say that honest people sleep well. Low stress. Be yourself. Talk to him as yourself. Your mission, should you accept it, is to present yourself as honestly as you can, so that you can be accepted/rejected for who you really are, and not a wrong image. Whatever happens - acceptance OR rejection is good. Btw. coming across as honest is good too. I'd rather deal with an honest person any day.

3. How do I express my interest in him without coming off as insane/needy/weird?

Be yourself. Your interest will come through, without having to be stressed. And if he finds you compelling - well, it'll be on HIM too to take the initiative. The attraction must be mutual for the relationship to be successful. Why should it be only on you, to express interest? If he is compelled by you, he'll find a way to express that, and he'll find you receptive - because you're being yourself and not playing games.

4. How do I determine what is actually rejection and what is just normal contact?

Be yourself. When you're honest and natural, your interactions will naturally lead to where they were meant to. Ask yourself - if two people are crazy attracted to each other, AND ARE HONEST and not playing games, what are the chances they won't express their attraction?

Be yourself. Don't play games. It'll happen or not, and in either case, it'll be the best thing that could have happened based on who you are - the real you - and who he is.

Be real. It's the best way. People find that so unbelievable, that they feel compelled to play games. A huge, huge mistake. Cheating yourself into someone's affections is like sneaking into a dragon's lair so the dragon can make love to you - however attractive you thought that would be, you'll just get burned. Let truth be your guide.

Which means - relax. Be yourself.
posted by VikingSword at 10:50 PM on January 18, 2013 [23 favorites]


It's kind of funny for me to hear this question coming from a young woman, because I hear it quite often from guys pining after girls.

The fundamental lessons are the same. Guys are always asking about how they get "the one" to fall for them. Life doesn't work this way.

Put your best foot forward, and if you fail, gather yourself up, move on and try again. In the process, learn to be more sociable in general, learn to flirt with more people than just the ones you designate worthy, and you'll be a happier person for it and have better relationships. And you'll be better prepared when the next one comes around.

If it works, all the better!

As for your questions:

1. Should I give up on this because he is way better looking than I am?

No. He may not think this way, and as others have said, he may place a different weight on looks than you do.

2. How do I get the courage to talk to him?

I know this is hard, but look at this as a chance to grow. If you fail, you learn, and you're better prepared for the next time. You're young. There's plenty of time. There's no sense in wasting time waiting. Attraction is not something you can over-think, analyze and strategize around. You either click or you don't.

3. How do I express my interest in him without coming off as insane/needy/weird?

You might. I don't think a bunch of strangers are going to tell you how to do this via a few sentences on the Web. If it was that easy, this would be a problem for no one.

4. How do I determine what is actually rejection and what is just normal contact?

For guys, I'd usually say go for some physical contact. Holding hands, a kiss. That's enough. But for young women? I don't know. It might make you seem to easy?
posted by Borborygmus at 11:28 PM on January 18, 2013


I never thought I'd do this, but I refer you to Shit My Dad Says: "Out of your league? Let people figure out why they won't screw you, don't do it for them."
posted by DarlingBri at 11:57 PM on January 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


1. Should I give up on this because he is way better looking than I am?
No. And never presume to know what other people find attractive, especially about you. I find this works both ways. If someone I'm attracted to starts picking on things they don't like about themselves (and I like those things), I might playfully and selfishly turn it around by saying, "Hey, don't tell me what to like! I'm enjoying this and I don't want you trying to ruin it for me!" I've made peace with my nose and my thick arms this way, which I never would have been able to do if I had cut people off at the pass.

2. How do I get the courage to talk to him?
You don't really have to get X amount of Y before you're allowed to go do Z. Just go talk to him, even if you lack the courage. You may find it along the way. Or you'll have it the next time, because it will be easier than the first time by then.

3. How do I express my interest in him without coming off as insane/needy/weird?
As someone with also an insane amount of intensity and overthinking tendencies, you're going to have to accept this about yourself. In many ways, it can become a thing you can use to find out real quickly if somebody you're considering is relationship-compatible with you. I'm not saying let it all hang out, but don't try to hide or suppress who you are. If they misread your analytical superpowers as clingy or crazy, they are very probably not capable of seeing you as you really are and appreciating that presence. This will rule out a lot of potential people for you, but when you can meet somebody on this level, it will be very comfortable and freeing because you'll know that your thoughts won't be a trigger for their anxieties or issues, and you'll be free to think and share them without it being misunderstood (most of the time). In the meantime, it's probably a good idea to choose words carefully so that the insane/needy interpretation isn't the most readily available one in what you're saying.

4. How do I determine what is actually rejection and what is just normal contact?
If after your approach/offer you're getting mixed signals and you can't figure them out after some reasonable time, then you'll need to follow-up a little bit more directly. But I wouldn't worry about this one until later. If you think about it now, you'll potentially kill some of the fun you could be having (much like cutting yourself off at the pass in question #1). Let yourself enjoy and daydream and fantasize first; you know you can be counted on to worry later and when necessary.

I don't think of myself as attractive.
I have zero experience dating.
I am super awkward ...
I have no experience with boys ...
I tend to be overly anxious and weird.
I can come across as very intense sometimes
I end up being completely silent and weird ...
I over think, analyze and freak out over everything ...
I see pretty much everything as a rejection.


None of this is helping you. If you can focus some of the abundant energy you have into reframing or rejecting these statements a lot of them will start making absolutely no sense in characterizing who you are. So while you're thinking about how you can woo this boy and gain some dating experience, you can actually work this self-improvement from both ends — out there with your actions in the world and in here with the things you think about and tell yourself.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:13 AM on January 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do your common interests include a particular kind of movie? If so, look around for a local screening of a movie you'd both be interested in, and invite him to go with you. In your invite, focus mostly on what's cool about the movie. (Like, if a local college is screening a movie in a genre you like and the director is going to be there, talk about how exciting it'll be to see the director live in person.) If you're into a particular kind of music, find a cool local show. Just find something that you'd both want to do, and see if he wants to do it together. If he says no, it's not like he's rejecting the whole notion of spending time with you. He's just said no to this one event for whatever reason, and you can walk away with your dignity intact.

When you go, you can spend the evening focusing mostly on this event you're both interested in, and you can talk about that and hopefully you won't feel so much pressure to be flirty and cool and awesome. Seriously, don't treat the evening like a DATE. Think of it more like a rehearsal for an actual date. It's not unlikely that just by your asking him out, he'll start wondering if you're interested.

(This may be some of my bitterness about gender relations talking, so take it with a grain of salt:) As a girl, the onus really isn't on you to be interesting all night. You don't have to dazzle him with wit or tell great stories. As long as you clearly seem to enjoy his company, that'll get you pretty far.

If you feel like the evening has gone well, at the end tell him you had a really good time, and give it just a little extra, flirty oomph. Depending on how the evening went, you may even want to give him a quick peck on the cheek. That should signal pretty clearly that even if you're taking this slowly, you are into him.

Don't worry about not being cute enough for him. Unless he's gorgeous, so gorgeous that girls hit on him a lot, he's probably not used to being wooed by a girl, and he'll be flattered by your interest. Don't worry about seeming shy or awkward. Shy can be super appealing. Just find ways to spend time with him, keep smiling and doing subtle flirty stuff, and he'll probably get the message.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:28 AM on January 19, 2013


3. How do I express my interest in him without coming off as insane/needy/weird?


As people have already said: Ask him if he wants to do something.

Here's the thing about "just ask him out" though- if you actually say words like, "Do you want to go on a date?," it will come out awkward 99 times out of 100. Because a) it's an awkward thing to say and you'll feel awkward and b) who talks that way anymore? No one.

I also wouldn't say, "do you want to get coffee sometime?" There you risk him saying "yeah, sure" and then spending the next month or year or decade wondering when sometime will be, and facing the unpleasant task of re-mustering the courage to essentially ask him all over again.

Here's what to do: Ask him to something *specific.* And make it something you were going to do anyway. Like there's a show Friday night. Buy a ticket. When you see him, say "hey do you like [band x]? I'm going Friday if you want to come." If he says "yes," you have a date without ever speaking those horrible awkward-for-everyone words. If he says "no," you go to the show by yourself or with friends and you enjoy the show. It's not awkward at all because you're not just *pretending* to want to go the show as an excuse, it's *something you were genuinely going to do anyway*, and that you think he might like. This will come across, and it will make all the difference.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:34 AM on January 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


What DarlingBri said, and also drjimmy11.

Ask him out to something specific on a specific day and time, that you would go to anyway. Sell the date to him. Say, "and he last time I went to see $band they ended the act with trapeze-flying monkeys, they guy behind me spilt beer down my neck, it was awesome. I'm going again on Friday [which is six days from today, so enough notice], it's gonna be the highlight of my week. You should come too!"

Now what's the worst that can happen? He turns you down, but you're not sure if he turned down you or it. Say he says "oh I already have plans," you say, "some other time then," and then some other time, you ask him to a *different* thing like a trip to see Dippy the London diplodocus fossil on tour at the museum, in case it's that he just didn't like $band. *Then* if he says he can't make that, the fact that he's turned you down two successive outings means your working assumption should be he doesn't want to date you. If he actually does want to go on a date with you and he just can't make it, or if he changes his mind, he can always come back to you and suggest an outing on his own initiative.

You have a lot of shame and it's centering on your looks. Without agreeing that your looks aren't good enough or that $someboy would like you if you looked prettier or that the conventional scale really measures what's attractive to most people or any given person... Are you doing your best to look your best? And I hope it's obvious that I don't mean are you getting a nose job and a boob job and turning your hair blonde, but are you enjoying building up your personal style and wearing an outfit you think is great, every day? Because you won't make the most of your looks unless on some level you believe you can. If you hate your looks so much that you habitually walk around with a paper grocery sack over your head because you think you can't do better, fashion blogs and YouTube are your friends.
posted by tel3path at 2:35 AM on January 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've said this before, but it is the best piece of wisdom wrt the anxiety of asking someone out: you're not afraid he'll say 'no'; you're afraid he'll say yes. Embrace this and the anxiety goes down to where it's goosebumps-the thrill of the hunt. Rejection? Don't internalize it. You'll think 'oh, he hates me because of x, y, z.' When that's only your voice.

Be your wonderful, confident self and ask him out for coffee. Have a second date in mind and test the waters. I think my second date with Mrs. Plinth was a hockey game for which she got tickets at her job.
posted by plinth at 5:02 AM on January 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I used to fall into this trap of thinking:

If I'm unattractive and weird/awkward, my crush won't like me. If I'm attractive and confidant, my crush will like me. If my crush doesn't like me, it's because I'm unattractive and weird.

This is an easy trap to fall into, and it's unfair to everyone. You don't have to "measure up" somehow in order to be worthy, and at the same time, dating and chemistry aren't as simple as "pretty person plus pretty person = love."

I think the problem with crushing hard the way you're doing is that you objectify your crush and devalue yourself. Your crush becomes the imaginary person from your fantasies (as opposed to the whole, flawed, complex person he really is) and you become the unworthy person who doesn't deserve him (as opposed to a cool, worthy potential match).

I encourage you to consider yourself worthy of this guy's attention, and act accordingly. Try not to think of yourself as being "in awe"--you'll be a lot more interesting as a friend/date than as a fan. But, if things don't work out, it's not because you screwed up or were too weird or if you'd acted differently you'd end up married. Often crushes just don't work out.
posted by Meg_Murry at 6:10 AM on January 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


I would suggest approaching this in another method. Since you've set yourself up with a date/crush dilemma, there's no real solution to that. You need another tactic. You don't really know if this person is even suitable for you. You think so but a lot of that is date/crush stuff. Many a potential relationship was crushed underneath the wheels of reality, so your real goal should be to find out if there's even the potential for a date which could lead to a real crush/relationship.
So, put yourself first and ask how could you get in this person's space long enough to understand whether a date is even reasonable or worth going for. You could ask for their help with a project of mutual interest, for example, or some form of work that needs doing so you will have to spend time in their presence, and vice versa. If you're intent on something other than a date scenario, it would help to relieve the pressure of being perfectly irresistible. If you get nervous, explain it away. "I get nervous around guys sometimes, I don't know why."
Another method is to set up meetings to see if a date is a reasonable thing to do. Your intent is really to interview people for dating potential, and vice versa. There's no pressure there, just how do you do and what are you into? 15-30 minutes at a coffee shop. The more you shop around, the better your chances of finding a really compatible person. Don't settle.
posted by diode at 8:16 AM on January 19, 2013


People tell me that you should always aim for your own attractiveness-level

There is no such thing as an "attractiveness-level". People have no idea who the bloke you're interested in is going to find attractive. Could be you!

We've talked a few times and we have a lot similar interests. He is really nice. He laughs at my jokes, we have easy conversations.

How bout that, it is you!

The problem is, ever since I've developed this crush, I've lost my ability to talk to him normally. I worry that I'm bothering him if I message him and when I see him in class, I avoid him because I see too many of his friends around him. Plus, there was this whole incident where I messaged him about something, and he basically ignored me for two weeks. He apologized later and said he remembered seeing it and thought he had replied but forgot instead.

Gonna give you a piece of really solid advice here. You're clearly young, so I expect you're going to ignore this because it's going to sound like it's coming from an old fart without a clue about How Things Are Now, but here it is anyway:

Don't do relationship stuff using electronic text.

Not SMS, not Facebook, not chat, not email. Just don't do it. Hell, don't even use the phone unless you have absolutely no other option.

There's a whole lot of bullshit politics attached to electronic communication that will absolutely get in your way, plus it doesn't do nuance and no, emoticons are not nuance. Also, neither of you gets any clue ahead of time about the mood of the recipient, and precious little feedback during, either. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen what should have been perfectly sound relationships run aground on a reef of electronically mediated misunderstanding with a side order of personal insecurity. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

The only exception is the dumping an arsehole, never-contact-me-again thing. That you can do by text, but only after you've blocked all the reply channels.

Do all your relationship stuff face to face.

Be simple, be direct, be up-front and be yourself.

Maybe the next time you manage to catch this guy alone, you could say something like "hey I've felt really awkward around you for the past couple weeks, because I've developed this massive crush on you. Could you please kiss me?"

Then you will know where you stand.
posted by flabdablet at 10:03 AM on January 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


You really like him; he seems to like you. Ask him out. Coffee/ tea or a movie is a good idea. It can be as casual as "Have you seen Lincoln yet? Want to catch it with me this weekend?" or "I'll be at Sam & Ackbar's Tea Hut Saturday morning. If you join me, I'll buy you a cup of Earl Gray."

Attractiveness is far more manageable than you may believe. Do you have a flattering hair cut? Have you learned to use just enough makeup to look most appealing? Do you wear clothes that suit you and are in good shape, and, for purposes of dating, are not burkha-like? I have known several women who are not attractive by popular standards, but who have made themselves quite attractive by making the most, and by a firm belief in themselves. And have known women who are genuinely very pretty but who hide it well. You don't have to be conventionally pretty, or dress like some fashion mag says (because advertisers pay them to), but you can definitely be attractive.
posted by theora55 at 10:27 AM on January 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hmm... I had the experience of kind of falling in love with a good friend of mine who was a lot better looking, though I'd never have admitted to myself my feelings for him at the time. I was overly eager to protect myself so whenever he flirted a bit I'd always shut him down. It was an attempt to protect myself from getting too intimate emotionally. I regret it in retrospect because I just ended up creating distance between us by trying to make myself feel/not-feel and act a certain way. I think he knew one some level that I cared for him anyway. If I'd been honest with him and myself, then he may or may have not felt the same way, but I would have opened myself up in a way that I think is valuable.

I wouldn't try to change the way you look. Be you.
posted by mermily at 11:21 AM on January 19, 2013


He wouldn't agree, but my husband is a couple of grades more "attractive" than I am. Even when he's weeks (or months) overdue for a shave and a haircut. I'm not terrible, but my friends (of mixed gender/orientation/etc) tend to alternately tell me I'm "cute" or "striking". When the same friends talk to me about my husband, they say things like, "Jesus, that man is hot". I liked him so much that I could not be bothered to worry about any disparities in appearance.

And I did pursue him -- which is good, because it turned out he was shy, and that he liked me but didn't want to be rejected himself! The very idea!

So, you should keep talking to this guy you like. Don't worry about being too intense -- just because you feel intense, doesn't mean you're really coming off that way. Just ask him if he wants to go out sometime. Talk to him anyway that comes out of your mouth, even if it's awkward and you say a bunch of weird crap. Everybody does this. And everyone forgets to reply to messages or email sometimes, too. Even when they like the sender.

If you're really afraid to actively invite him somewhere, arrange some activity near him, and let him know he can come by if he's interested. ("I'm going to this nature park/museum/coffee ship/book signing near your place on Friday; want to meet up since I'll be in your area?")

But there is no script for this kind of thing. There's no real plan you can follow to make sure everything goes perfectly. The good thing is, it'll probably go fine, anyway. Either you'll like each other or you won't, but it'll put an end to the hyped-up crush suspense.
posted by Coatlicue at 10:19 AM on January 20, 2013


Be honest but also optimistic. It's a complicated world that leaves a lot of room to maneuver. There are objective levels of physical attractiveness AND there are people who have a different view of them AND there are people who perceive them conventionally but disregard them in favor of other qualities AND there are people whose disregard is not noble ("beautiful on the inside!") but pragmatic ("rich") or even despicable ("an ugly one will do what I say and never leave me") or sad ("I don't deserve a beautiful partner").

Also - attractive people are used to overtures of romantic interest, and if they are reasonable people aren't surprised or insulted by them and know how to turn them down clearly and graciously.
posted by MattD at 10:39 AM on January 20, 2013


How an earth could you possibly know, apart from him telling you, whether or not he finds you attractive? Attractiveness is not an objective standard. Eye of the beholder and all that. I can't think of a single human being that *everyone* finds attrative. I can almost guarantee you that multiple people have had crushes on you and the odds are even high that someone has a crush on you right now. So let go of the idea that you're not attractive or not "as attractive" as he is. It has no basis in reality.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:41 AM on January 21, 2013


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